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Bucci cucci

Bucci 2002 Rosso Piceno “Pongelli” (Marches) – From an inventory clearance, and thus the performance of this bottle is not necessarily representative. Fading, trembling red fruit, decrepit and in need of some serious vitamins just to stand upright. (8/12)

Herbal teamaker

Varnelli Amaro “l’Erborista” (Marches) – While there are fernet-like mint and dark green herbal notes here, this liqueur’s heavier foot remains in a more traditionally amaro-esque camp. Which is, frankly, a ridiculous thing to say given the remarkable variation between amari, and in actuality this still manages a certain straddle, bringing caramelized everything (except caramel) into the equation, de-sugaring it, and then tossing in a blizzard of naturalia. If I’ve a quibble, it’s that the result then seemed gauzed, as if there’s an extra level the liquid isn’t being allowed to reach. But in its wake is elegance, and that’s OK too. (5/12)

Italian Annie

Pizzini 2008 Verdicchio dei Castelli Jesi Classico Superiore “Domanì” (Marches) – Sold to me as “oxidative” in its context, which leads me to expect something with hints of orange. It has none, but there’s a breadth to it that’s not really typical for the grape and appellation. It’s hardly atypical, though, showing liquid white fruit with brushes from the lemon and gooseberry palettes, delicate herbality, and a jittery finish. Quite appealing. (6/11)


Velenosi “Querci Antica” 2008 “Visicole” (Marches) – 500 ml, and aromatized in the manner of a chinato. Only, not so much. It’s more sweet than bitter, as if some odd alchemist had decided to blend a sweet red, a chinato, and one of the sweeter amari, and then thought better of it and stopped before following through to any one of a number of possible conclusions. The result is interesting but a little bereft of persistent interest. (9/10)

Bucci cucci

Bucci 2002 Rosso Piceno “Pongelli” (Marches) – Absolutely the most egregiously corked wine I have ever encountered. They could teach classes with this bottle. For decades. (7/10)

Bucci 2002 Rosso Piceno “Pongelli” (Marches) – Complicated interplays of tart red fruit, baked goods, a pair of sharp tannic and crisp acidic bites, and high quality mixed with an insistent unwillingness to play along or submit. Yes, Pongelli, you may be on top. (8/10)

Rotational force

Brunori 2007 Rosso Piceno “Torquís” (Marches) – Big, over-concentrated fruit that neither deserved nor was prepared for that concentration. And even then, it manages to be a little wan. Berries in popsicle form, dirt, some slightly weedy tannin. Eh. (6/10)


Umani Ronchi 2004 Rosso Conero San Lorenzo (Marches) – Pretty straightforward red fruit, the needle wavering between tangy and merely bright, with some externally-imposed structure. Fair enough. (5/10)

Abit for umani

Umani Ronchi 2008 Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico “Casal dei Cavalier” (Marches) – Straightforward brittle, biting greenness. Not much else. Clean, simple, drinkable. (4/10)

Saladini tongs

[vineyard]Saladini Pilastri 2008 Rosso Piceno (Marches) – Extremely approachable. A burst of complex, well-soiled fruit – berries, quince, some plum – with just enough structure. Good with or without food, albeit more structured with the latter, and more fruit-dominated otherwise. Not complex, but it doesn’t need to be. Disappears very quickly, which can only be counted as praise. (2/10)

Umani nature

Umani Ronchi “Casal di Serra” 2006 Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico “Superiore” (Marches) – Sprightly, mildly electrified greenish-white fruit. Crisp, direct, and simple. A good value, and strictly for summery guzzling. (6/09)

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